Read my previous post: WOW Philippines Part 1/2
Manila is a highly urbanized city and was going on a tour of the city through a tourist agency. I started my day with a simple breakfast consisting of bread, cheese and a pastry. I went to the starting point of the tour just outside downtown Manila. There were several tourists from China and Europe.
Walled City, Fort Santiago
Right in the heart of Manila is the Walled City – Intramuros. IT was constructed in 1571, during the period of Spain’s colonization of the Philippines and consisted of several European style architecture. The site is a timeless journey through forts and dungeons, old churches, colonial houses, and horse-drawn carriages. Marking its entrance at the northwestern tip, Fort Santiago is one of the oldest fortifications of Intramuros.
San Agustin Church
One of the four Philippine Baroque Churches inscribed in UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the oldest stone church in Metro Manila was built in 1586 and completed in 1606. An intricately carved door opens to the church. Somehow this colonial church reminded me a lot of Peru, especially Lima.
Japanese garden in Rizal Park
Considered as one of the largest parks in Southeast Asia. For 74 years, it was used as an executing ground by the Spaniards for Filipino rebels and mutineers.
Malacañang Palace / Museum
Malacañang Palace is considered to be one of the most historic structures in the Philippines. It has been the official residence of the highest chief executive of the country since 1863. Located next to the
I had some delicious desserts after lunch and dinner and it seems that Filipinos have a sweet tooth. Sapin Sapin is a Filipino rice-based delicacy, sprinkled with latik — latik is the reduction of coconut milk until all of the liquid has evaporated. Halo-halo is a cold dessert made with shaved ice, milk and sugar with typical ingredients including coconut, caramel custard, jackfruit, red beans etc. Sort of a big sundae – a calorie bomb which will definitely help to catch some sleep on the plane.
This short and quick trip to Manila was wonderful. Too bad it was restricted to an urban area, I heard wonderful stories about the beaches and the countryside and inshallah some day I’ll go there! Thanks Anil for this unique opportunity to fantasize a trip. 🙂
Disclaimer: I haven’t been to Philippines so I don’t know anything about the country first hand. All the social commentaries are based on information, stereotypes and hypothetical situations.
[Photo credits: Wikipedia]
Read part 2 of Anil’s imaginary travel to Saint Petersburg